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Picasa Web Albums stays big, gets faster

Posted by Wonderful-Tricks

I use Picasa to manage the photos on my computer in part because it's the fastest way to manage all of the pictures I take. When I started working on Picasa Web Albums, the speed and responsiveness of the desktop program were a tough act to follow. Typically, when you move your photos from the desktop to the web, you have to choose between viewing high resolution photos that take forever to download, and tiny photos that lack any detail. For Picasa Web Albums, we thought we could do better.

We chose to show large images, the very biggest we can fit into your browser window. If you open up a slideshow or full-screen view, we can fill your entire monitor. But it wasn't snappy enough for us, so we had a choice to make: either use smaller images, make the Internet faster, or make our code smarter. We think large images are important, because seeing a photo's little details can make a big difference, and as much as we wanted to, making the whole Internet faster was a little impractical in the short term. So we went deep into the code and gave it a thorough tune-up.

The results, I hope, speak for themselves. Take a look at any album or slideshow on Picasa Web (here's one of mine) and you should notice that browsing photos is significantly faster. Give full-screen mode a try to see even bigger photos. If you've got a reasonable connection to the Internet, you should be able to hold down one of the arrow keys and zip through the entire album at a pretty good clip, flip-book style. Of course, while you could zoom past entire albums at ludicrous speed, we hope you'll enjoying spending your time looking at the photos themselves, rather than navigating between them.


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